Child psychologist warns against 'violent online content' after 8-year-old's death
A high-ranking Bridgeport public school official and a child psychologist are warning against "violent online content" after an 8-year-old student died -- as the boy's parents blame what they're calling a "deadly internet danger."
A high-ranking school official tells News 12 Connecticut that he believes big internet platforms need to do a better job of filtering out violent content like the video games a local family is pointing to as "a contributing factor" in the death of 8-year-old AJ Aguilar.
MORE: Family: Bridgeport 8-year-old found in bedroom with window curtains around neck dies at hospital
Aguilar, a student at Bridgeport's Hallen School, died after being found in his bedroom with a window curtain wrapped around his neck one week ago.
His family says they are convinced after looking at the child's online watch history that one set of videos he was viewing day and night in the weeks leading up to his death put him in "a dark state of mind" and led to this tragedy.
Back in April, law enforcement officials in Missouri issued an urgent advisory warning parents about the same content involved in this case. It said the content, rated for kids 12 and older, starts with "child-friendly videos" then turns "nightmarish," and includes violence like decapitations and other murders.
"They'll say, ‘Go kill your mommy, go kill your poppy, go kill your brother, kill yourself,’" said Marlene Halstead, Aguilar’s aunt.
Child psychologist Dr. Chris Bogart says he's viewed the content in question and believes the family's claims are "well-grounded."
"These are companies that obviously have a profit motive and they understand that the power of their content does bring more subscribers," Bogart said.
The family says Aguilar was always so happy.
"Not until he started to watch the videos - that's the only time I seen him say he had nightmares and stuff like that," said his brother Francisco "Javy" Morales.
The death is still under investigation, and the medical examiner has not yet released the autopsy findings.